I finished my first Hare Scramble yesterday. It may be my last Hare Scramble, I'll have to see how motivated I am to do another one in the future.
The format for this race was interesting. They start groups of similar or compatible skill levels together. I entered in the Super (50+) Senior "C" (skill level) Class, there were a handful of other Super Seniors but only one other guy at my supposed skill level, the others were A or B riders. They filled out our line with a few Women's Class riders and some Veteran (40+?) Class, for a total of around 16 riders in my row. There were another 7 or 8 rows behind us. The starts are dead engine, so the starter gives us a 10 second warning, drops the flag, we start the bikes and go. Then the next row gets a 10 second warning, etc...
We were racing a 6 mile loop through the woods, 5 laps. How hard can it be?
Somewhere late in my first lap I smashed into a tree at a pretty good pace. My right hand came off the bar and smashed into the tree or my bark-buster (who knows). I hurt my thumb but I didn't really want to look down at it. After a couple more laps I came across another bike and rider curled on the ground, so I stopped to see if he was OK. I took my hand off the bar to give him the universal "Thumbs up?" sign, but realized I couldn't straighten my thumb...it just looked like I was shaking my fist at him, so that's when I figured my thumb was busted. I picked up his bike for him, turned out he'd landed hard on his tank and "nutted" himself. But as soon as I picked up his bike he got on it and disappeared down the trail. Young kid.
Anyway, somewhere along the way I got lapped, so I didn't complete five laps, only 4. But it turned out I wasn't alone, plenty of riders didn't complete even 4 laps, so I finished 64th out of 108 starters. Pretty poor performance, but at least I wasn't last. By the time I crossed the finish line, my right hand was pretty sore. I would've gladly gotten off the bike right there, but I managed to ride it through the woods back to the truck. The race lasted about 2 hours and 19 minutes for me, and I doubt I could have gone much farther or longer.
I felt much better after I re-hydrated and ate a little bit, so I went back to try to capture some vids...
This is the second row of A class riders getting their start.
A couple more rows starting...
And here they are shortly after the start, ripping through a couple of the faster sections.
Here's the downhill entry to the boggy section I mentioned in the previous post. These guys didn't spend much time pondering "technique", they just blasted through it.
This is a log jump they set up right after the scoring tower that you pass through every lap. It's close to the pits and is easy access for spectators. The 3rd guy through doubled it, but I didn't see anyone else try that.